Garrycastle ‘will be the favourites’ for Flanagan Cup, says Dempsey

Luke Dempsey was understandably “delighted to be back in a county final” after his St Loman’s, Mullingar side edged out The Downs in last Sunday’s Flanagan Cup semi-final.

Ironically, it was a goal by the grandson (Sean) of the club legend (Paddy) after whom the Flanagan Cup is called which turned the tie in the Mullingar blues’ favour.

“When Sean Flanagan, who has only just returned from America, got into that position he took his goal really, really well. TJ Cox took the right option in passing the ball to him rather than going for his own point. That was the decisive score of the second half,” Dempsey stated.

Conditions were dreadful for football. In this regard, the winning manager opined: “We knew with the weather conditions overnight and today that this was going to be a dogfight. We prepared for such a dogfight as it’s been five weeks since we had a match.

“The Downs had a competitive match against Rosemount and it gave them a bit of an advantage. They have some very good footballers and they had obliterated Rosemount. Luke Loughlin was imperious that day.

“Our play in the first half was a bit tentative, but it was great to see that we had the ability to win this game with what is effectively a new team from last year. We have a lot of lads gone due to emigration and retirement.

“There was some poor shot selection from us in the first half, but you can put that down to being away from the competitive field for five weeks. I think we were better in that regard in the second half.” he added.

The ultra-successful bainisteoir at club and inter-county level looked ahead to the decider against Garrycastle.

“For some of our players it will be their first county final, and for others it will be their fifth or sixth. If they are not available due to injury, Paddy Dowdall (hip flexor) and Darragh O’Keeffe (broken ankle) will be considerable losses, but I think we have three weeks to the county final,” Dempsey explained.

“Garrycastle will be favourites. They have a full-strength squad, but we will be there or thereabouts on the day.”

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